wire fraud

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Former Rep. TJ Cox Arrested by the FBI

California Democrat faces dozens of fraud charges

(Newser) - Former Rep. TJ Cox served one term in the House, from Jan. 2019 to Jan. 2021. The California Democrat will be serving a lot more time than that in federal prison if he's convicted of all of the fraud charges he's facing. The FBI says Cox was arrested...

If You Get a Call From 'Elliot Stewart,' Be Wary

$13M has been stolen from the elderly in a rare-wine scam

(Newser) - The world of fine wine and whiskey continues to be a magnet for thieves and frauds . The Washington Post reports on allegations that three England-based companies claiming huge returns on investments in rare booze actually stole more than $13 million from at least 150 Americans—many of them elderly. Representatives...

Alleged PPP Fraudster Blew $2.5M on Cars, Crypto

Vinicius Santana of Florida allegedly bought 2 cars and a home with his $2.5M loan

(Newser) - Authorities say the former owner of a Massachusetts painting business fraudulently received $2.5 million in loans meant to assist small businesses during the pandemic before buying cars and a home and investing in cryptocurrency. Vinicius Santana, 34, was arrested Monday at Miami International Airport, not far from where he...

Prosecutors: Ex-Yale Worker Swiped $40M in Electronics

Jamie Petrone pleaded guilty to wire fraud, which could land her in jail for up to 20 years

(Newser) - For nearly a decade, Jamie Petrone had the ability, in her role as an administrator for the Yale School of Medicine, to place orders for computers and other electronics for the school's Department of Emergency Medicine. Prosecutors say that routine administrative task turned into a yearslong scheme that brought...

Scholarship Cash Used to Pay for Exec's Dating Sites: Prosecutors

Mary Wickersham is also accused of using pageant scholarship funds for maid services, meals out

(Newser) - The Miss Florida Scholarship Program was designed to distribute funds to young women coming up through the beauty pageant world, but prosecutors say that for Mary Wickersham, an ex-executive director for the nonprofit, it was a personal piggy bank used to buy an array of goods and services for herself....

Phony 'Hollywood Success Story' Sentenced to 20 Years

Actor Zachary Horwitz, aka Zach Avery, hears his fate after bilking investors in $650M Ponzi scheme

(Newser) - Update: A Hollywood actor accused of running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme was sentenced Monday to 20 years behind bars in federal prison, reports CNN Business . Per a DOJ release , Zachary Horwitz (aka Zach Avery), 35, was ordered by Judge Mark C. Scarsi, of the US District Court for the Central...

Gambling Nun to Serve Year Behind Bars: 'I Have Sinned'

'I have no excuses,' says Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper, who stole $835K from Catholic school

(Newser) - Update: A California nun and retired principal who embezzled $835,000 in donations, tuition, and fees from a Catholic elementary school will now have to pay it all back and serve a year behind bars. "I have sinned, I've broken the law, and I have no excuses,"...

Holmes Ends Her Testimony With Denials

Defense rests, but closing arguments won't take place till Dec. 16

(Newser) - The defense wrapped up its case in Elizabeth Holmes' trial Wednesday with her declaration that she didn't mislead investors in her blood tech startup—"Never," she said. "You understand they were entitled to truthful answers about Theranos' capabilities?" a prosecutor asked. "Of course," Holmes...

PPP Fraudster Learns 'There Is No Easy Money'

Texas' Lee Price III gets 9 years for wire fraud, money laundering

(Newser) - A Texas man who fraudulently received $1.6 million in COVID-19 relief money, then bought a $200,000 Lamborghini and a Rolex, has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison. Lee Price III of Houston was sentenced to nine years and two months in prison on Monday after...

Couple Nailed in $20M COVID Funds Scheme on the Run

Richard Ayvazyan, Marietta Terabelian left note for their kids before vanishing in August

(Newser) - Earlier this year, Richard Ayvazyan and Marietta Terabelian faced the music in a scheme to steal upward of $20 million in COVID relief funds, after using the money to finance upscale homes, jewelry and watches, gold coins, and other luxury goods. The Southern California husband and wife pleaded guilty at...

Maryland Man Pleads Guilty in COVID Vaccine Scam

Fake site set up to look just like Moderna's offered supposed doses for $30 a pop, feds say

(Newser) - Earlier this year, before COVID vaccines were readily available to eligible patients, a website suddenly popped up advertising Moderna doses for $30 each. That site turned out to be a fake, and now a Maryland man has owned up to his role in getting it up and running. The Baltimore ...

Coupons Get Virginia Woman $400K and 12 Years in Prison

Once caught, the woman, who went by MasterChef, explained the scam to investigators

(Newser) - A Virginia Beach woman is going to prison for 12 years in a massive couponing scam. Lori Ann Talens designed counterfeit coupons at home, complete with product photos and working barcodes, the Virginian-Pilot reports. Because coupons are so widely distributed and thus don’t each have unique barcodes, they’re...

Retired FBI Agent Accused in Major Con

Authorities say William Stone bilked woman out of $800K

(Newser) - A month after retiring from the Dallas field office, an FBI agent allegedly began a yearslong fraud scheme that earned him more than $800,000—and potentially up to 178 years in federal prison. William Roy Stone Jr., 62, is charged with wire fraud, impersonating a federal officer, and other...

Coach Was Fired for 'Inappropriate Conduct.' Then a Sick Scheme Emerged

Steve Waithe allegedly fooled students into sending him nude photos

(Newser) - A former track and field coach at Northeastern University amassed 300 nude and semi-nude images of student athletes using an elaborate scheme involving social media, according to prosecutors. Steve Waithe, 28, of Chicago—who's also coached at the University of Tennessee, Penn State, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and...

Employee Pleads Guilty After Lying About COVID

Trying to get paid leave, an Atlanta man told his company he'd tested positive

(Newser) - An Atlanta employee who went well beyond just calling in sick has been convicted. Santwon Antonio Davis, 35, falsely told his employer he had COVID-19, NBC reports. The company had to shut down a plant temporarily, costing it $100,000, and four of the man's colleagues had to go...

Ex-Blue Bell Chief Indicted in Listeria Case

Paul Kruse is accused of trying to cover up 2015 outbreak

(Newser) - In 2015, three people died and seven others were infected in four states in a listeria outbreak tied to Blue Bell Creameries ice cream. Now, a Texas grand jury has charged the former CEO and president of the company, accusing him of leading attempts to conceal the contamination. CNN Business...

Police Chief Allegedly Rigged His Own Hiring

Bridgeport's Armando Perez, another official face decades in prison if convicted

(Newser) - The police chief of Connecticut's largest city cheated to get the job, according to federal prosecutors, who say he could face decades in prison. Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez is accused of working with the city's acting personnel director, David Dunn, to rig the hiring process, reports the...

Holmes Now Faces Fewer Counts
Judge Trims
Charges
Facing
Holmes

Judge Trims Charges Facing Holmes

Wire fraud count remains Theranos founder, but others are dismissed

(Newser) - Elizabeth Holmes, the Stanford dropout who founded the blood-testing company Theranos, still faces a trial in San Jose but now on fewer charges. US District Judge Edward Davila said Tuesday that he'll toss out any of the 11 counts against Holmes and Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, former Theranos president,...

Ex-Baltimore Mayor Charged Over Sales of Her Kids' Books

Catherine Pugh faces decades in prison if convicted

(Newser) - The disgraced former mayor of Baltimore was charged Wednesday with fraud and tax evasion involving sales of her self-published children's books to non-profits and foundations that did business with the government. An 11-count federal indictment accuses Catherine Pugh of arranging fraudulent sales of her “Healthy Holly” books to...

JetBlue Gate Agent Could Get 20 Years for Ticket Scam

She upgraded tickets for more than 100 friends, relatives

(Newser) - A special code allowed former JetBlue gate agent Tiffany Jenkins to swap cheap plane tickets for expensive ones—and prosecutors say she did this for family and friends more than 500 times before she got caught. Jenkins, who was arrested in November last year, allegedly upgraded 505 tickets for more...

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